Towcester meeting preview

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WINNERS might be hard to come by at this Saturday’s race meeting at Towcester, but don’t give up on local Towcester trainer John Upson just yet.

That is the message from the Blakesley Heath yard which plans to send out veteran Gritti Palace in the 3m 1/2f Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase on Saturday when the action is due to get underway at 12.25pm.

After Sunday’s abandonment at the Northamptonshire track, a drier, colder week means prospects for racing on Saturday are considerably brighter.

The innovation of a Real Ale Festival at Towcester on Friday evening and Saturday should not prevent punters from briefly abandoning the marquee to register support for Robin Dickin’s Valrene in the Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle which opens proceedings at 12.25, along with Witch’s Hat (1.35) and Earcomesthedream (2.10).

Valrene showed excellent form to defeat the favourite Springinherstep earlier in November while Witch’s Hat has also shown a liking for Towcester in the past and comes from the in-form stable of Jim Old.